Eagulls have spent a couple of years now carving out a reputation for fantastic music and a liberal use of spelling at the forefront of their branding – and come May 13th we get to hear the entirety of their second album, Ullages
Slightly irritating puns aside, the signs from the first trio of tracks unveiled (‘Lemontrees’, ‘My Life in Rewind’ and ‘Skipping’) point to a more refined sound and a band breaking down the boundaries of their previous punk-rock aesthetic.
To preview the new stuff on the road, Eagulls announced a short tour of some surprisingly small venues in places they had yet to visit, including Far Out’s exhilarating night out at Salford’s Islington Mill.
Frontman George Mitchell struts out with his bandmates, swigging from a bottle of red wine before confidently launching into ‘Lemontrees’.
The Smiths/Cure/Simple Minds comparisons that have already been laden on the track suggest something more anthemic than the band’s self-titled debut this time around – and tonight’s live performance feels like a glorious chrysalis showing itself to the world after a mindblowing reinvention.
That’s not to say the evening lacks any of the visceral tension and unbridled excitement that marked the vast majority of this Leeds five-piece’s early shows. ‘Tough Luck’ and ‘Nerve Endings’ are greeted with a frenzied pit down the front and of course the drinking continues.
At one point a young female fan’s decision to invade the stage is met with some confused looks – but it’s all born out of the kind of good natured debauchery that Far Out has come to expect from an Eagulls gig.
However, the revelation of the night has to be how long and hard the band appear to have worked on transforming themselves into a much more deep-lying proposition. The record still won’t arrive for a couple of months, but the mass-singalong and crowdsurfing that accompany a euphoric ‘My Life In Rewind’ could be an early indication of just how much of an impression Ullages may make.
The band’s sign-off is a firm favourite and guaranteed crowd-pleaser in the shape of ‘Possessed’. It’s a whirring punk-rock anthem that blows the roof off the mill and has the packed-out audience reeling as the begin to filter out of the venue. 2016 looks set to be the year Eagulls really come of age. See them wherever you can, as many times as you can.